Criminal Defense Lawyers in Charlotte County, Florida
How to Beat a Florida Criminal Charge
Police and prosecutors alike in Charlotte County, Florida take criminal matters seriously. Specifically, they work closely when investigating criminal offenses and recommend harsh penalties, including jail time, that could last for a lifetime. These agencies apply all of the resources that they have at their disposal in order to protect the public from harm.
It may be tempting to take on the prosecution by oneself after having been arrested, as no one knowns your case better than you. However, it is recommended that you do not represent yourself. Self-representation can have disastrous consequences. By contrast, we urge you to seek skilled representation by a Charlotte County Criminal Defense Attorney who knows the ins and outs of the courtroom, the prosecutor, the judge, and the applicable law.
Even a misdemeanor-level offenses in Charlotte County can lead to harsh consequences. While misdemeanor-level crimes are less serious than felonies, they can result in jail time, monetary fines, and additional repercussions such as probation, the loss of one’s driving privileges, the loss of the ability to possess ammunition and firearms, suspension of a professional license, adverse employment consequences, and more.
If you are facing criminal charges in Charlotte County, contact the skilled Charlotte County Criminal Defense Attorneys at Musca Law today. We can be reached 24/7 at (888) 484-5057.
Criminal Offenses in Charlotte County, Florida
The State of Florida divides criminal offenses between felonies and misdemeanors, and then further separates each class into various degrees. The main difference between a misdemeanor and felony in Florida is where the offender must serve jail time. A person facing a misdemeanor conviction in Florida may only be sent to a county jail, where the sentence cannot be greater than one year. Alternatively, a person facing a felony conviction must be sent to a state prison, where the length of the incarceration depends upon the degree of the crime.
The maximum penalties for crimes in Charlotte Country, Florida are as follows:
Category of Offense
Maximum Period of Incarceration
Maximum Allowable Fine
Sixty-Days in County Jail
One-Year in County Jail
Five-Year Prison Sentence
Fifteen-Year Prison Sentence
Thirty-Year Prison Sentence
Incarceration for Life without Parole
Judges, when issuing a sentence, must adhere to the Florida sentencing scoresheet. These guidelines were created to ensure that offenses in various Florida counties will be punished similarly. Hence, a person facing a battery conviction in Charlotte County will receive a similar sentence as another person convicted of battery in another Florida county, assuming that all of the underlying conditions are the same. The judge has the discretion to impose a less severe sentence as dictated by the score on the sentencing scoresheet if he or she feels that the accused deserves consideration. Similarly, a judge could increase the penalties if he or she feels that the circumstances warrant a punishment that is greater than indicated by the sentencing scoresheet.
A skilled and diligent Charlotte County Criminal Defense Attorney knows full well that the sentencing part of a trial presents an opportunity for aggressive advocacy. Seasoned criminal defense attorneys from Charlotte County advocate fervently for a reduction in a convicted offender’s sentence given that they understand that everyone deserves a second chance. Doing so can have the effect of lessening the impact that a conviction has on a person.
Crimes That Are Commonly Charged in Charlotte County
Controlled Substance Laws in Charlotte County, Florida
Florida is renowned for being aggressive when it comes to the prosecution of drug-related crimes. People who are not Florida citizens are often shocked to learn that they are facing felony charges for possessing as little as four grams of a controlled substance or a large quantity of cannabis. Those who investigate drug crimes as well as prosecutors take aggressive measures to break drug rings. In so doing, law enforcement often places under arrest small-time drug dealers who sell controlled substances in order to feed their personal habit or arrest those who become trapped in a negative cycle of drug misuse. At Musca Law, our Charlotte County Criminal Defense Attorneys work hard to push the judge to rule that an offender be sent to a drug treatment program rather than jail. If sent to jail, they are not able to learn how to address their drug problem.
Florida Statutes Chapter 893 codified Florida’s drug laws. This chapter provides the schedule for the classifying of controlled substances, the punishments associated with drug offenses, as well as prohibited acts. Many drug offense convictions in Charlotte County require the offender to serve a minimum mandatory jail sentence.
At Musca Law, our Charlotte County Criminal Defense Attorneys have represented thousands of individuals who have been charged with a drug crime such as:
- Narcotics trafficking;
- The sale, distribution, or possession of drugs with the specific intent to distribute, sell, or gift them;
- The possession of controlled substances such as marijuana, morphine, opioids, fentanyl, cocaine, synthetic narcotics, prescription drugs, Crystal Methamphetamine, and heroin; and
- The possession or distribution of drug paraphernalia.
There is a lot at stake for the alleged offender in a Charlotte County drug case. Notwithstanding, the issues of consumption and drug dealing are a lot more complex than a simple guilty or not guilty verdict. There are complicated race, socioeconomic, and public health issues that make controlled substance offense cases murky. With that in mind, Musca Law’s Charlotte County Criminal Defense Lawyers fight aggressively to prevent their clients charged with drug-related offenses from having to go to jail and advocate for such sentencing alternatives as:
- Drug court;
- Placement in dual-diagnosis programs;
- Outpatient or inpatient drug counseling programs; and
- Drug treatment and detoxification, if warranted.
Domestic Violence Charges in Charlotte County, Florida
Domestic violence-related offenses are taken very seriously in Charlotte County, Florida. Unfortunately, claims of domestic violence can be misleading or completely false, and paint a picture that major acts of violence occurred. Notwithstanding, police do not have the ability to refuse to arrest someone facing an accusation of domestic violence. Accordingly, people are often arrested and accused of felony-level domestic violence offenses, even if the claims are untrue or exaggerated by a vindictive individual seeking revenge. Once a person is placed under arrest, the Florida Legislature specifically cautions magistrates and judges to consider the safety of the victims and any children when determining to release him or her from jail after being accused of domestic violence.
Section 741.28 of the Florida Statutes is Florida’s law governing domestic violence cases. Under Section 741.28, not every relationship between two people qualifies as a domestic incident. Children, former spouses, spouses, siblings, those who share a child in common, as well those who reside in the same dwelling are considered domestic relationships. This designation is critical given that it triggers remedies and rights for the alleged victim and obligations for the alleged offender.
The repercussions associated with a domestic violence conviction are extremely harsh. The alleged offender, if convicted, may face minimum-mandatory jail time for certain domestic violence-related crimes. Moreover, a judge can impose strict probation conditions that are difficult to satisfy, including staying away from the alleged victim coupled with the parties’ children and other family members. Additionally, the convicted individual may be forced to surrender firearms and ammunition to law enforcement, as well as attend a batterer’s intervention program.
Sex-Related Offenses in Charlotte County, Florida
The Charlotte County Sex Offense Defense Attorneys at Musca Law never shy away from a complex case. Claims of sexual misconduct are highly challenging matters in Charlotte County. Notwithstanding, each sex offense case begins with allegations, and the alleged offender is presumed to be innocent, just like any other defendant in a Charlotte County criminal case. The prosecution must present evidence to the court that convinces a jury that the claims are true beyond a reasonable doubt. This is a heavy burden, and the bar is exceedingly high.
As such, it is critical to have an aggressive Charlotte County Criminal Defense Attorney from Musca Law to defend an alleged offender accused of committing a sex-based offense. Our attorneys have significant experience handling such cases as:
- Sexual battery;
- Sexual assault;
- Human trafficking;
- Possession of child pornography;
- Lewd or lascivious acts;
- Solicitation of a prostitute;
- Aggravated sexual assault and sexual battery; and
- Sex offender registration offenses.
Sex-based offenses require diligent preparation and a thorough investigation in order to develop the strongest defense strategy possible. The stakes in sex offense cases are extremely high. An individual convicted of a sex offense in Charlotte County may face a lengthy term of imprisonment, incarceration in a state treatment center for a certain period of time as a dangerous person or sexual predator, and registration as a sex offender. If you are facing allegations of a sex-based offense, contact a skilled Charlotte County Sex Crime Defense Attorney as soon as possible in order to preserve your legal rights and interests.
Charlotte County, Florida DUI Cases
A DUI conviction in Charlotte County can have devastating consequences in a person’s life. Accordingly, DUI charges must be regarded as very serious. Keep in mind that while most DUI offenses are misdemeanor-level crimes, they can still result in jail time and other serious consequences. In other words, a DUI can lead to an extended period of incarceration, depending upon a number of different factors, including the nature of the charges and the alleged offender’s prior criminal record, if any. Florida’s DUI law, codified at Florida Statutes §316.193, mandates that an offender be subject to a suspended driver’s license, probation, mandatory community service, driver’s education courses, impoundment of the subject vehicle, and the installation of an ignition interlocking device in the offender’s vehicle. Additional consequences include a spike in a person’s insurance rates and a permanent criminal record that can be accessed by prospective landlords and employers.. Hence, it is critical for a person facing DUI charges in Charlotte County to hire an experienced Charlotte County DUI Defense Attorney as soon as possible following one’s arrest.
At Musca Law, our Charlotte County DUI Defense Attorneys have significant experience defending clients facing the following allegations:
- DUI manslaughter;
- Aggravated DUI;
- Serious bodily injury DUI;
- Property damage DUI;
- Subsequent offense DUI; and
- Commercial vehicle DUI.
Theft-Based Crimes in Charlotte County, Florida
Florida Statutes §812.014 is Florida’s theft statute. Theft is a term that is applicable to a number of different criminal offenses where the primary claim raised revolves around one individual taking the property of another individual without permission and while having the intent to deprive its owner thereof. Florida’s theft-based offenses stratify its various offenses depending upon the value of the property taken, the amount of money stolen, and whether there are special circumstances involved such as theft from an individual aged 65 or older.
At Musca Law, our skilled and diligent team of Charlotte County Theft Defense Attorneys handle a wide variety of theft-based offenses such as:
- Petit theft;
- Grand theft;
- Burglary (See, F.S.§810.02);
- Identify theft (See, F.S.§817.568); and
- Robbery (See, F.S. §812.13).
Violent Offenses in Charlotte County, Florida
Diligent and experienced Charlotte County Criminal Defense Attorneys with significant trial experience understand how to best tackle violent crime allegations. Unlike an advocate who only handles DUI cases and uses a cookie-cutter approach to defending each client, defense of violent crimes requires a detailed investigation from the defense and a complete examination of the legal and factual issues that are present in the case. Some issues that often arise in violent crime cases are claims of defense of another, self-defense, alibi, and third-party culprit defense, to name a few.
Musca Law’s Charlotte County Criminal Defense Attorneys are skilled at aggressively attacking cases involving:
- Attempted Murder (F.S. §782.051);
- Murder (F.S. §782.04);
- Assault and Battery (F.S. §784.011, See Also (F.S. §784.03).
- Manslaughter (F.S. §782.07);
- Vehicular Manslaughter (F.S. §782.071);
- Aggravated Battery (F.S. §784.045);
- Rape/Sexual Battery (F.S. § 794.011);
- Arson (F.S. §806.01); and
- Robbery (F.S. §812.13).
A person facing allegations of violent conduct may be subject to a long prison term, including life incarceration without early release or even the death penalty. Hence, if an individual is facing violent crime accusations in Charlotte County, Florida, or believes that he or she is under suspicion for committing a violence-based offense in Charlotte County, Florida, must call Musca Law immediately to obtain appropriate legal advice and safeguarding his or her constitutional rights.
Charlotte County, Florida White-Collar and Cyber Crime Defense
The defense of white-collar crimes often involves defending an individual charged with identity theft, racketeering, bribery, perjury, and embezzlement. “White-collar” implies that the offenses alleged were perpetrated through the use of exerting influence over another (rather than a strong arm crime such as burglary) or through secrecy.
Cyber crimes may also include white-collar crimes, as they involve the use of the internet for the purposes of exploiting others, selling illegal goods, dealing in narcotics, running a prosecution ring, distributing child pornography, and soliciting minors for sex.
Defending those accused of white-collar crimes requires a legal advocate to have a solid grasp of the technology used during the commission of the crime. Specifically, understanding the technology often leads to the development of a successful defense strategy.
Charlotte County Juvenile Justice
Juvenile justice as well as the associated punishments are ever-evolving. Child psychologists recently discovered that an adolescent’s brain does not fully mature until much later in life than once believed. Specifically, their brains may not completely develop until an individual is in their mid-twenties. Female adolescent brains mature quicker than male adolescent brains, but still slower than once believed. This reevaluation has changed the way individuals think about juvenile criminal justice.
Musca Law’s Charlotte County Criminal Defense Attorneys strongly advocate for a minor to be rehabilitated, treated, and educated rather than being detained at a juvenile detention facility. Minors sent to juvenile prison often are recidivists, which means that they are prone to committing crimes once again and as an adult. It is critical for the future of any minor child, therefore, to have a seasoned legal advocate argue on his or her behalf and avoid incarceration as a juvenile detention facility.
Charlotte County Protective Orders
Section 784.046 of the Florida Statutes and Section 784.0485 of the Florida Statutes create remedies for those who are in fear of being subject to violence at the hands of another person. These statutory sections enable an individual fearing violence to submit a petition to the court requesting protection in the form of a protective order. These are available for those in fear of stalking, domestic violence, repeat violence, sexual violence, and dating violence.
Protective injunctions are powerful weapons that are often misused to gain an advantage in a family court proceeding or to exact revenge against another individual. While a protective injunction is issued by a civil court, a violation of same constitutes a criminal offense. Moreover, the claims alleged in the petition for a protective injunction typically describe criminal acts. Hence, if you are the subject of a protective injunction case, it is critical that you contact a skilled Charlotte County Protective Injunction Defense Attorney to challenge the allegations and protect your legal rights and interests.
Musca Law: Aggressive Criminal Defense in Charlotte County
Contact Musca Law today at 888-484-5057 to speak with a skilled Charlotte County Criminal Defense Lawyer. Counsel are available 24/7 to advise you of your legal rights and options. Don’t wait, as your life and freedom are at stake. We look forward to making a difference for you!